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Since graduating from ACM’s Higher Diploma Guitar Performance course, Ben Goddard has wasted no time getting stuck into the music industry. ACM caught up with Ben to find out what he’s been up to since leaving ACM in 2007.

What have you been up to since leaving ACM?
After leaving ACM, I used the next year to build up a wealth of contacts by working in the business itself. I wrote to Jo Charrington of EPIC Records, Sony (Now Universal) who kindly offered me some unpaid work experience. I did everything from answering phones, filing, photocopying and professional tea making, to sitting in on recording sessions, looking after big artists and going on a UK Tour with the band HelloGoodbye! They then offered me paid work. After a year there I decided to follow my dream and start writing and performing.

First, I needed some income so I made use of my Higher Diploma in Guitar and started teaching in my local area. I wrote my own syllabus and I currently have over 40 regular students a week. This has allowed me to pay for some session players, gigs and recording sessions. I’m now in a position to start pursuing a career as a songwriter. Once I’ve done that I should be in a better position to negotiate a record deal. It’s a long road and I’m not giving up!

Tell us about who you’ve been working with?
Aside from Sony, I’ve mostly been working for myself. In the last year I’ve worked with The Ranch Production House. We’ve been working on a showreel for me to present to publishers and Industry persons alike. Jon Astley, the producer of The Who & Eric Clapton worked on the

What’s been your proudest moment/career highlights so far?
I’ve met Simon Cowell and also supported James McCartney in London. His whole family turned up. I talked to Sir Paul McCartney and his daughter Stella outside my dressing room for quite a while and he even asked for a CD! He’s a massive inspiration to me.

I’ve also played with Nizlopi, Slow Club, Charlotte Church, Finley Quaye, Razorlight Drummer Andy Burrows and played in front of festival crowd of 1,000.

So what’s on the horizon for the remainder of 2012 & 2013?
I’ve just finished my showreel of songs. I’m now putting a hold on recording and from here on in it’s going to be about marketing my product. The aim is to get a publishing deal and co-write. I’ll be playing the festival circuit in the summer of 2013 as well.

Do you have any advice or tips for our current ACM students?
If you want a career in music and you have the passion and tenacity you can achieve anything. Learn from the knock backs and come back stronger and more determined. Work hard and never give up. Don’t forget that in this day and age you need a good grasp of the business
side of things as well as being good on your instrument. I spent just as much time in the BDC as I did practicing guitar.

ACM would like to thanks Ben for taking the time to update us on his progress since leaving ACM and wish him luck for his forthcoming projects.

For more information about Ben Goddard, visit his website or follow him on Facebook and Soundcloud.